Watching #mumbaidiaries . Its painful. Brings back so much trauma, phew, have had to pause it many times already

It was the 26th of november 2008. My bestie had booked a table at 10 pm at the Trident to bring in my birthday on the 27th. I asked her to change it to the next evening as i wanted to start my bday on the 27th with a 5 am jog on the beach ( i was running marathons those years) So my bestie did, respecting my wishes hiding her dissapointment and telling me ive become a bore. I agreed.

That exact same time , around 10.30 pm, A dear dear British friend (visiting India) who was at the Taj that night saw his Indian partner being shot dead by terrorists in front of his eyes. He was the lucky one who managed to escape from a side door while all others in the line were taken to the terrace and shot dead.

2 expat friends (also staying at the Trident that week but were lucky enough to have been at work meetings in the burbs that night) saw that their hotel was under attack by terrorists on the news and counted their blessings that they were not amongst those whose room doors were being knocked on and occupants being shot dead. They stayed huddled and invisible till they were flown back to their countries by their compassionate govts

A dear friends best friend lost both her parents that night of the 26/11 attack. It was a Colaba carnage. No one has fully recovered from the horror so many years later.

Watching #mumbaidairies is disturbing indeed. Im shaking.

In the 2013 shooting at westgate mall in Nairobi I was scheduled to be there for breakfast. But my closest friend who i was visiting in Nairobi that time decided to treat me to a surprise visit to a glass and mosaic factory on the outskirts of nairobi and so changed our 9 am breakfast booking to a 12 am pedicures followed by lunch kinda treat.

We were barely 10 mins away from west gate mall that morning ( on our return from the glass factory) when she got an alert to stay away as some gun shots had been heard at the west side mall and an armed robbery was suspected “suchu lets just go back home till we figure whats going on she said” ofcourse i agreed. Being a high placed American diplomat she got the alert earliest than most , we were lucky. It was a boko haram islamic terrorist attack

We spent the rest of the afternoon evening night and next day in Nairobi huddled in front of the TV screen. 26 of my friends colleagues and friends were hostage at west gate mall – it was a horror story. Many of them were shot point blank and died. (8) My friend shook like a leaf all night and several days after – if not for our visit to the glass/mosaic factory that morning we would have surely been amongst the casualties. Colleagues of her were shot dead point blank that bright sunny morning for no reason at all.

My ex husbands phone was exploding the next few days- i had been spotted at west gate mall in Nairobi 3 days in a row prior ( west gate mall is the only place non locals hung out. I was indeed there everyday almost all the time except this hour of the attack) and all Indians are natural spies and god bless them for that…

I have never counted my blessings more. As we all should. For every opportunity or fluke chance that gives us another shot at life. That dosent turn us into a statistic of the dead.

For every moment in our life , for every opportunity to tell a story. To share our joys. Sad stories are too many…

Love u zindagi… ????

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